Finals held at the Opera House
On Friday evening Her Majesty Queen Sonja presented the prizes to the winners of the Queen Sonja International Music Competition for 2013. First prize was awarded to the Russian soprano Kristina Mkhitaryan in this anniversary year.
The music competition, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary, has grown and gained prestige over the years. Some 200 singers from 47 countries applied to participate this year. After several preliminary rounds, five talented opera singers were selected to be the finalists in the competition at the Opera House on Friday evening.
The Norwegian National Opera Orchestra, conducted by John Helmer Fiore, premiered the work entitled Wagner Prelude by the young Norwegian composer Jan Erik Mikalsen. This work was specially commissioned for the finals event.
The competition itself was divided into two parts in which finalists each sang one aria.
This years finalists were (in alphabetical order):
- Brandon Cedel, bass-baritone, USA
- Hamida M. Kristoffersen, soprano, Norway
- Kristina Mkhitaryan, soprano, Russia
- Mélissa Petit, soprano, France
- Andrew Stenson, tenor, USA
First place went to Kristina Mkhitaryan, while Andrew Stenson and Mélissa Petit received second and third place, respectively. The winners receive a cash sum and a graphic work signed by Her Majesty, as well as recognition and prestigious engagements that will lead to new career opportunities.
More than a week
The opening ceremony at Oslo City Hall was followed by preliminary rounds and the semi-finals and then a week of concerts and master classes held throughout last week. On Thursday, 22 August, invited guests enjoyed a concert at Oscarshall Summer Palace featuring previous prizewinners.
This years prizewinners will perform at Kilden Performing Arts Centre in Kristiansand on 29 August.
Congratulations are presented today from His Majesty King Harald to His Excellency Mr Egils Levits, President of the Republic of Latvia.
World Heritage at Vega
In 2004, UNESCO inscribed the Vega Archipelago on the World Heritage List. Today His Royal Highness The Crown Prince was in attendance to open the new Vega Archipelago World Heritage Centre – Norway’s first authorised centre of its kind.